His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Book Challenge Day #94 – Deadline Done, But Book Isn’t

Deadline

Zero days left in my personal challenge to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months. The first draft isn’t even done. Oh well. But now that the first draft is almost finished, I’m starting to think about what to do next. Of course I’ll immediately start on the second draft. But I’d also like to get this blog more involved. Here are some ideas for upcoming blog activities. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Do you have other cool ideas that you could share with me?

  • Blog about a summary of the story, finally letting it out from the confines of my notebook. I haven’t mentioned much about the story yet, just because it’s been evolving. But now that it looks solid, I’d like to share it with you.
  • Ask for book cover ideas. Then I could take some of these cover ideas to my artist niece and see what she would do with them. Then, post the artwork for the ideas and have a vote to select the one to use.
  • After I hire an editor to do the final copyediting and I type up the final draft, I’d like to start posting the book on this blog, one chapter at a time. With sixteen chapters, and posting a chapter every day, in a little over two weeks you could read the entire story. And each chapter is short.
  • Hopefully, people who read the story on the blog will post some critique comments. I could then use those comments to make the story better.
  • And then, with the final cover and story, I’ll put the book on Amazon Kindle for free. I will then ask all of you who download and read it to leave a review. Then, after there’s a good collection of reviews, I’ll see what the consensus is. If people perceive the book as poor, with little value, then it will not be worth putting a price on it. If people see value in the book, then I’ll basically set the price based on how may stars it gets – more stars equals higher price. In this way, those who first read and review the book, will set the price for the book. After all, it’s the readers opinion that counts, not mine.

So what do you think? Thanks a lot, CJ

 

(October 18, 2015: day 93 down, 0 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #90 – Oops

ghost writer

I thought I had the whole book mapped out, the book I’m trying to write and publish in three months. The first drafts of 13 of the 15 chapters are in the bank, written and typed up. And the remaining chapters have detailed outlines and notes – all I need to do is put them into a readable flow. And it all feels good…

… Except for the ending. I recently accepted that it sucks. Oh, it’s a necessary and critical part of the story, but it’s a painful way to end. It’s a bad place to leave the reader. I know I’d hate being dropped in that place, without a well lit pathway out.

Well, I was driving to work recently, whining to myself about the end of the story. I don’t think I had yet seen and accepted that it sucked. So I prayed about it. And as with all the chapters in this story, God gave me the new ending, the best ending (in my opinion anyway). By the time I got to work, I had complete notes recorded on my iPhone voice memo app. I so love writing with God, even in my car.

You may have noticed I have only four days left in my 3-month challenge. And the first draft isn’t done. Oh well. Anyone out there have a similar writing experience?

 

(October 14, 2015: day 89 down, 4 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #65 – The Writing is Fun… but the Marketing?

book marketing

I love writing. Every time I sit down to work on the book I’m trying to write in three months, I have fun. Mainly because I’m not writing alone. I’m writing with the Holy Spirit.

But in working on this book, the message that’s coming into my mind and then onto the paper is really touching my heart. I believe this message can touch the hearts of other people too. So now I have a growing desire to make this book available to a lot of people. That’s where marketing comes in.

Marketing. This doesn’t sound as much fun as writing. But it could be, as long as I don’t do it alone. In fact, while praying about it on my drive to work yesterday, an idea came into my mind that seems fun to me.

It goes like this: I’m planning to self-publish this book on Amazon Kindle. I’ve always wanted to initially offer the book for free, mainly for all of you who have periodically checked in on the progress with my book challenge. As a way to thank you, I want to give you the book. I had then intended to later put some random price on it. After all, I could use the money.

But here’s the new fun idea: while the book is on Amazon for free, I will ask all of you who download and read it to leave a review. It’s a short book, so it won’t take long to read. Then, after there’s a good collection of reviews, I’ll see what the consensus is. If people perceive the book as poor, with little value, then it will not be worth putting a price on it. If people see value in the book, then I’ll basically set the price based on how may stars it gets – more stars equals higher price. In this way, those who first read and review the book, will set the price for the book. After all, it’s the readers opinion that counts, not mine.

What do you think of this idea? Does it sound fun to you?

 

(September 19, 2015: day 64 down, 29 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #55 – Typing, finally

ghost writer

My hand-written first draft notes are all safely in my notebook, all except for the last chapter. But tonight is big not because of that, but because I started typing the first draft, beginning to make edits on the way. There is something special for me when I finally start typing a new book project. It feels more real, not like my barely legible hand-writing. I just finished typing chapter one and I’ll get started on chapter two as soon as I post this brief message.

This book project, driven along by my challenge to write and publish this book in three months, has really picked up momentum the past week. And I’d like to use this particular post to thank my co-writer… the Spirit of Jesus Christ, who lives within me, and probably within you too. He’s the real drive behind this project. His presence fills me with energy, excitement, and words. And I’m so grateful. Thanks

 

(September 9, 2015: day 55 down, 38 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #49 – 5 Hours of Rapid Writing

commute traffic

Yesterday was a huge day of progress on the book I’m trying to write and publish in 3 months. I had to drive to San Jose for a work assignment – a comfy 2+ hour drive with typical commute traffic. So there and back, I was in my car for about 5 hours (traffic was a bit more than typical). This type of day can be boring and exhausting. But not yesterday. Using my iPhone audio memo app and with the ear-buds/microphone, I was able to record notes for the book while keeping both hands on the wheel (that comment is for those who tend to worry about me while I’m on these long commutes for work).

After 5 hours filled with frequent moments of high energy and excitement, I had recorded very detailed notes for the remaining seven chapters of the book. Once I transcribe these audio notes, the first draft will be complete!

But the best part is how this happened and what ended up coming out of my mouth. As I often do while driving, I’m in frequent conversation with the Holy Spirit of Jesus. I always find comfort in His presence. And yesterday, I believe He was giving me the words that I then spoke into my iPhone. And what great words – the book has taken an unexpected turn, and I’ve now added elements that will bring much more power to it’s message. That’s where my energy and excitement came from.

Dear Jesus, thank you so much for all you do, and for riding with me yesterday on my 5-hour commute.

 

(September 3, 2015: day 48 down, 45 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #41 – The Deadline

Deadline

My 93-day window of time to write a book is well over a third of the way closed (or open, depending on how I choose to look at it). And I’m far from a third finished. At this point, panic is an option. Or at least rising stress – that would be my usual response. Yet while praying this morning, another window began to open for me, a window of understanding and trust.

What began to seep into my mind while praying is this: my three-month deadline is artificial and has no meaning beyond the meaning you or I may give it. My prideful self would choose to make the deadline a matter of success or failure. That’s where the stress and eventual panic would come in.

Or, I could choose to give no meaning to the deadline and just focus on trusting Jesus – trusting Him to show me the way to the completion of this book, with no concern for when that happens. The deadline then becomes only a fun way to help motivate myself to write this book, with no stress, only trust.

Guess which one I’ve chosen.

 

(August 24, 2015: day 40 down, 53 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Book Challenge Day #38 – Back in the Saddle Again

This blog, and my personal book challenge, has been very quiet for the past few weeks. I’ve been traveling for three weeks, and though I had hoped to find lots of time for writing and blogging, there was actually very little. I made almost no progress on the book. But I’m not worried… yet.

You see, whenever I do find time to write, and as long as I am able to quiet my mind and focus on the Spirit of Jesus within me, the writing just happens. I focus on Jesus and the words seem to flow through my hand and into my notebook. This morning I effortlessly finished the first draft of chapter 4 – thirteen more chapters to go.

So now that I’m back home and into my familiar writing space and daily routine, it feels like I’m “back in the saddle again.” And I hope to continue to blog about my experience with this personal writing challenge. The highs and lows – they’re out there, waiting for me to reach them.

I think challenges are good in how they stretch us and help us grow. How might I grow through my book writing challenge? It will be fun to find out, and maybe at times a bit painful. Stay tuned.

 

(August 23, 2015: day 37 down, 56 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)